Yolo County Animal Services officials are issuing a warning to the public about handling downed bats following an incident last week in Davis.
At about 12:30 p.m. Aug. 13, a bat was found inside a tire swing at Community Park, in the children’s playground behind the Davis Arts Center. The bat then fell out of the swing onto the ground. Children were present and alerted an adult that there was a bat crawling on the ground.
The bat was impounded by an Animal Services officer and sent in for testing to the Solano, Napa and Yolo Public Health Laboratory, where it tested positive for the rabies virus.
Last year, numerous bats living under the pedestrian overcrossing at Covell Boulevard and F Street near Community Park tested positive for rabies, county officials said. The bats have migrated back to this roost, and residents are asked not to disturb the bat colony.
Many bats live in populated areas because they feed on the insects that are attracted to lights in parking lots and at residences.
“If you find a bat on the ground or in your residence, do not attempt to handle the animal,” a news release said. Instead, call Yolo County Animal Services at 530-668-5287 or Davis police and ask that the animal be removed.
Animal Services officers also remind pet owners to vaccinate their pets against rabies.